Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 16 (16:16)

Surah Nahl Ayat 16 in Arabic Text

وَعَلَـٰمَـٰتٍۢ ۚ وَبِٱلنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ
Wa ‘alaamaat; wa bin najmi hum yahtadoon

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 16

Sahih International
And landmarks. And by the stars they are [also] guided.

Yusuf Ali
And marks and sign-posts; and by the stars (men) guide themselves.

Abul Ala Maududi
and He has set other landmarks in the earth. And by the stars too do people find their way.

Muhsin Khan
And landmarks (signposts, etc. during the day) and by the stars (during the night), they (mankind) guide themselves.

Pickthall
And landmarks (too), and by the star they find a way.

Dr. Ghali
And way marks; and by the star they are guided.

Abdel Haleem
and landmarks and stars to guide people.

Quran 16 Verse 16 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 16, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:16) and He has set other landmarks[14] in the earth. And by the stars too do people find their way.[15]


14. This is a sign of Allah that He has broken the monotony of land by placing conspicuous landmarks on it to distinguish different regions from one another. These have many benefits and one of these is to help guide travelers and navigators to their destinations. One also realizes the importance and value of these landmarks, when one is traveling through a sandy desert where there are hardly any objects to guide on the way, and one is liable to lose the way any time. One feels the lack of landmarks much more in the sea voyage. It is in the deserts and the seas that people realize the true significance of stars by which they are directed aright to their destinations.

This verse contains arguments for Tauhid. Providence, and Compassion of Allah, and also a proof of Prophethood. For the mind is instinctively turned towards this question: Can it be possible that Allah who has made so elaborate arrangements for man’s guidance to fulfill his physical needs has neglected to provide for his moral and spiritual needs? It cannot be so, for it is obvious that even the greatest loss of some physical necessity due to the adoption of a wrong way is nothing as compared with the loss of spiritual and moral values due to deviation from the right way. It would be nothing less than having doubt in Allah’s Compassion and Providence to think that He, Who had made so elaborate provision for man’s guidance on land and sea by creating mountains, rivers, stars and other objects, would have neglected to make provision for his moral and spiritual guidance. And it stands to reason that He must have provided prominent beacons of light to guide man to that right way of life which is indispensable to his true success.

15. In( Ayats 4-16), some signs have been mentioned in succession in order to focus people’s attention on the creation of man himself and of the earth and the heavens. They will thus find that everything supports the truth of the doctrines taught by the Prophet (peace be upon him). A critical study of all these signs shows that these must have been designed and created by an All-Wise Being, and One Being alone, and there could not have been any partner or associate to help Him. Let us consider this theme from the point of view of man, the central figure in the creation. This wonderful being, who is able to speak with his tongue and is capable of arguing his case with it, has been created from an insignificant sperm drop. Then many animals have been created to satisfy the necessities of his life. They provide food, clothing and conveyance for him and help satisfy his aesthetic taste as well. Then there is a remarkable system of rain water from the sky to produce crops, fruits and verdure, etc. on the earth to fulfill man’s needs. Then there is the creation of regular days and nights and seasons, which are closely connected with all kinds of production of the earth, and also with man’s general well being. Then there are oceans, which help fulfill many of his physical and aesthetic demands and provide water ways for traffic. Likewise, mountains have been created to provide man with many benefits. Then there are landmarks on the earth and stars in the heavens to guide travelers and navigators to the destinations. In short, there are innumerable signs in the earth and the heavens which are closely interconnected and are also indispensable to man’s welfare, nay, to his very existence. All these are clear proofs that only One Being has designed the entire universe and created it in accordance with that design. It is He Who is all the time creating new things to fit in that scheme, and working this wonderful universe that spreads from the earth to boundless heavens. Who can then claim, except a foolish or obdurate person, that all this has come into existence by a mere accident? Or, who can say that these different aspects, which are working under a perfect system and are intimately connected with one another and are well balanced, have been created by different gods and are under the control of different guardians?

Ibn-Kathir

The tafsir of Surah An-Nahl verse 16 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Nahl ayat 14 which provides the complete commentary from verse 14 through 18.

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